Something I revisited last year, running a workshop for Netskills in May, which I’ll be doing again in March. It’s a topic that really interests me and I’ll be looking to build my knowledge further this year. I’ve made a start with Janice Redish’s excellent book: Letting Go of the Words which emphasises the importance of web content being conversational. I’m also planning to apply the general good practice guidelines to online learning and come up with a “Writing for the VLE” guide.
Last year I co-facilitated a few webinars here at LSE, some for a Health Economics masters and one with the LSE Careers Service on using Linkedin. It’s a challenging format and one we will be experimenting with further this year; myself and my colleague Sonja Grussendorf are planning to offer staff a series of lunchtime webinars after Easter. When planning last year’s LinkedIn one I found the Live Online Learning – a facilitator’s Guide from Onlignment really useful.
As part of my work with the LSE Careers Service I co-facilitated a Webinar about Linkedin for job-hunting students. It was the first time we had offered a webinar and the first time we had run a session specifically on Linkedin. The feedback was very positive:
“A really useful talk and a great way to communicate with the careers service. Thank you”
- 9 out of 12 said they would make more use of Linkedin as a result of attending the webinar
- All 12 participants want the Careers Service to run more sessions as webinars
The webinar covered 4 topics:
- What is Linkedin? Why use it?
- Your Profile – Get Noticed
- Get Connected
- Researching & Getting More Connected
We tried to minimise the chalk-&-talk by building in some interaction: stopping regularly for questions and using the built-in question tools. It is very easy for the mind (& fingers!) to wander off in a Webinar so you need strategies for dealing with this!
I’m writing this as I listen to an interesting talk by Martin Weller, How digital technologies are impacting higher education which is part of the From Courses to Dis / Course event. As you can tell I’m multi-tasking… a few minutes ago I dipped out and when I dropped back in I really wanted to flick back thru’ Martin’s presentation slides but wasn’t able to.
The session is in Elluminate and for all I know it may be possible but I don’t think so. Nor is it possible with the equivalent tool that we use Wimba Classroom. What I’d like is the ability for participants to be able to control which slides they see with a one-click option to jump back to the presenter’s current slide. Perhaps Elluminate allows this or perhaps other web conferencing tools do? Now, back to viewing as well as listening to the discussion…
Last week I gave an online presentation with my colleague Hervé Didiot-Cook as part of the Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series (Distinguished = we said yes): Winning with Wimba? From early enthusiasts to the mainstream at a UK University. We were talking about the Wimba Voice Tools which we love but it was a taxing experience as we had several problems with audio, some self-inflicted, others due I think to the Wimba Classroom software which we are less sure about – see Web Conferecing a-go-go by my colleague Kris.
Some of the problems Hervé & I experienced are due to our relative inexperience with these kinds of tools, and this what I mean by stepping up a level. I think for many staff and students it is something of a step up from text-based keyboard & mouse interactions to ones involving audio, headsets, video & webcams as well as host of non-technical stuff. (The lack of visual signals etc). If a learning technologist & a learning technology enthusiast struggle with adapting to this then we know it’s going to be a bigger step for staff & students who are less confident with ICTs.
The week before last I was at Imperial talking to a mixed audience (lecturers, learning technologists & IT staff) about our use of Wimba Classroom & Voice Tools. I made this point about these tools being a step up for many users and although there were a few nods of agreement I think there was a certain amount of scepticism too. I’d be interested to hear what others think.
And finally… Donny Donny Donny (sung to Ruby)! Congratulations to Donny Rovers for playing passing football and stepping up a level on Sunday!
Images: Going Up! Doncaster Rovers 1- 0 Leeds United, 2008 League One playoff Final at Wembley.